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EXCERPT from SAY YES by ELLE KENNEDY

I find myself hurriedly scanning the lounge. I thought it was occupied mostly by older couples, but a sweep of the dimly lit room reveals a sole patron in a shadowy corner of the room. His back is turned to me, so all I glimpse is dark hair and the hint of wide shoulders.

Is that him?

My pulse takes off. On a whim, I type out a quick message.

Me: Describe what you’re looking at right now.

The brief delay tells me I’ve confused him.

Him: A roaring fireplace. Wood-paneled walls. A leather chair beneath my ass, a tumbler of scotch in my hand.

Holy. Shit. 

Me: Turn around.

The stranger swivels his head. Our eyes lock from across the room. I hold my phone up, a bit sheepishly, and husky laughter wafts in my direction.

Him: You’ve gotta be kidding me.

I don’t bother responding, because Dirk, in all his real-life glory, is already striding toward my nook. As he walks, he tucks his phone in the pocket of his jeans. They’re dark blue, and he’s paired them with a gray sweater that stretches across impossibly broad shoulders. He’s even better looking in person, and I wish I knew what he did for a living. Is he an athlete? Because he sure as hell is built like one. I swear I see his muscles flexing beneath his sweater every time he moves.

“Emilia,” he drawls.

“Dirk,” I drawl back.

“What are the chances? One would think the universe wants us to get together tonight.”

“One would think.”

“May I join you?” He gestures to the empty armchair

“Of course.”

He sits down and sets his tumbler on his left knee. His gaze wastes no time studying me. Thoroughly.

I’m caught off-guard, because I hadn’t anticipated meeting him right this second. I thought I would have time to go upstairs, freshen up. I feel less than sexy in my bulky cable-knit sweater, leggings, and my hair thrown up in a messy bun.

“Anyone ever tell you you’re incredibly sexy?”

Huh. I guess he likes the disheveled look. “Thank you.” I can’t help but narrow my eyes. “Are you really staying at this hotel?”

He grins. “Well, I don’t make a habit of hanging out in hotel bars for no reason.”

“Hey, you never know. This could be your hook-up hunting ground.”

“Could be yours,” he counters.

“True.” I point to the keycard sitting on the table. “I’m a guest here, too.”

We observe each other over the rims of our respective drinks. Aw man, he’s got a dimple that I just want to lick. And the stubble sweeping his jaw begs for my fingers to stroke it. Heat unfurls in my body. It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced such an instant attraction to somebody, and I don’t think I can blame it entirely on my seven-month sexual drought. That thing he said about putting his mouth all over me? I want to do the same thing to him.

“You’re looking at me like you want to eat me alive,” he remarks.

“That’s because I do.”

He looks amused. “That’s honest.”

“Honesty’s my middle name.”

“Is that so?”

“Yup. Well, no, my middle name’s Natasha. But I think honesty is my best trait. My dad thinks it’s my biggest flaw.” I roll my eyes. “But that’s probably because he doesn’t like my brand of honesty. He’s got five divorces under his belt and doesn’t enjoy hearing that he’s a marital fuck-up.” Ugh, and dammit, why am I talking about my father with the guy I’m potentially going to have sex with?

He doesn’t seem to mind, though. “Yeah, I can see how he might not like the reminder.”

“Then he should really stop getting married every other day.”

Dirk laughs.

I hate that his name is Dirk. It’s such a terrible, terrible name.

“So . . .” He of the unfortunate name takes the last sip of his scotch and puts the glass down. “We’re doing the small-talk thing again, Emilia.”

A smile tickles my lips. “Yes. We are.”

He raises a dark-brown eyebrow. “Are you nervous about going upstairs with me?”

“Who says I’m going upstairs with you?”

His lips curve in response. “Oh, I see. We’re playing hard to get now.”

“Nope, I’m still sussing out the situation. Deciding if you’re worthy of going upstairs with me.”

“Worthy, huh?” He smiles wider, flashing me a set of perfect white teeth.

Maybe he’s not an athlete but a male model. Because he’s so insanely sexy. The smile, the body, the silver eyes gleaming with heat. This man is sex on a stick.

“I feel like we’re in negotiations,” I admit with a sigh. “Like we’re setting up rules for potentially banging each other’s brains out.”

“Rules?” Dirk winks. “I don’t play by the rules, gorgeous. If you want to lay some down, though, I’m all ears.”

“I only have one.” My tone becomes firm. “This is only going to be a one-night thing, so you’re not allowed to fall in love with me.”

He chuckles. “I think I already am.”

 

Our Review

“SEE OUR REVIEWS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL SHORT STORY”

✲SAY YES by ELLE KENNEDY – Song: Always on My Mind by Willie Nelson – I’m in town for a wedding. We both swiped right and blew each other’s minds last night. But this morning? He looks a hell of a lot like the groom.

A deliciously sexy and light-hearted cat and mouse, where we meet Emilia who is at a hotel for the weekend, attending her friend’s wedding. In the mood for a one-night stand to release some pent-up sexual steam, she ‘swipes right’ on the delicious Dirk who is in the mood for one-night fling himself. Perfect, if she can get over his porn star name that is.

‘I could get addicted to this. I could really, really get addicted to this man.’

Sexy, warm and witty. Everything we’ve come to love from Elle Kennedy is bundled into this fun and flirty short story. A steamy night of sex, a case of mistaken identity and sizzling connection, but will this tryst prove more than a one-night stand and does Willie Nelson hold the key to their future?

See our TBB Elle Kennedy Recs


✲YOUR EVERYTHING by KL KREIG – Song: I Just Want to be Your Everything by Andy Gibb – Some say no woman should come between brothers. Blood trumps all. Family first. Those people have not met Maverick DeSoto.

Oh wow! What a surprise it was to learn this story was a prequel to one of our favourite books, Black Swan Affair. That angsty, emotional and passionate story ripped our hearts out in 2016, and we still recall every emotion we experienced in that heart pounding and addictive read!

‘We both wanted the same woman. We’d both give anything to have her.’

In Your Everything, we go back Killian and Mavericks forbidden romance before the events of Black Swan Affair and it was fun catching up with these characters again. K L Kreig once again gives us a good dose of sexual chemistry, and hot alphaness as Mav and Killian begin their clandestine relationship before the eventual fallout. Oh boy, we relished this walk down memory lane!

See our TBB KL Kreig Recs


✲THINK I’M IN LOVE by LESLIE McADAMSong: Think I’m in Love by Beck – What’s worse than being in love with your best friend? Watching him propose to his girlfriend.

A sweet M/F – M/M friends to lovers’ story of enlightenment and self-discovery about three friends; Kim, Randy, and Shane. On the eve of Kim’s year long study abroad trip to Spain, Shane surprises everyone by impulsively proposing to Kim. She accepts, and Randy is perplexed, as he knows there is a connection between him and Shane.

“Randy. You’re my best friend. I want to always be your best friend. But we can never be anything more.”

When Kim leaves, Shane is forced to confront his feelings for Randy and enter all the confusion and conflict that lies therein. Randy desperately loves Shane, but Shane is scared to admit his feelings for Randy – small-town prejudice, parental acceptance all play a part. Can Shane face his feelings before it’s too late?

✲KISS ME by LYNDA AICHER – Song: Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran – A strong drink to mellow her frustrations is all Tara McTavish wants. Seeing the man who’d fired her the day before is not in her plans. But then, neither is going home with him.

A hot and spicy ex-boss/employee romance that steamed up the pages. Tara is down in the dumps after a mass lay off sees her out of work. Out commiserating with her friends, she comes face to face with her hot ex-boss, Daniel Marks, the man responsible for the layoffs…or is he?

‘She had to risk her heart in order to claim another’s, and no one had been worth the risk – until now.’

In his pov, we find Daniel has harboured feelings for Tara for some time, but ethically he couldn’t make a move. Now he is no longer her boss, he can make his move, and make his move he does! Enjoy seeing Daniel and Tara heating up the sheets and breaking down the walls around their hearts.

ALL I WANT by MARA WHITESong: All I Want to do is Make Love to You by Heart – Marilyn loves her husband, but she may love the idea of being a mother more. Will one night of passion with a beautiful stranger give her what she wants, or more than she bargained for?

A May to December romance about a woman’s all-consuming need to be a mother, and just like the song, Marylin embarks on sex with random strangers in the hope of conceiving the much-wanted child her older husband cannot give her. Marylin and Ove live an idyllic lifestyle and do love each other very much, but for Marylin life is incomplete without a child.

“Please don’t ruin m life,” she whispered to the stranger she knew so intimately…”

One rainy night she meets Decker, and after a night of lust fuelled passion, and a connection Marylin does her best to ignore, she disappears into the night knowing they had conceived a child. This compelling short story takes us years further than the song and we loved it! A beautiful epilogue was the cherry on top. A sizzling yet heart-warming story that felt complete.

See our TBB Mara White Recs


LUSH by MARNI MANN – Song: S & M by Rihanna – There aren’t any secrets from me at my exclusive sex club, Lush. Not until the only man to ever tame me—the one who vanished in the middle of the night—turns up at the door.

A searing passionate and erotic story that left us wanting more! We need to know more! That ending, what a tantalising tease! A short but gripping erotic story of want, need, deceit and a passionate, albeit complicated and emotional love.

“I want you to remember something”, she said. I held her chin as I waited for her to continue. “You deserve to feel love. I want that for you, even if it’s not with me.”

Seriously, we were completely invested in Say Yes and desperately need to know how the events came about, what happened after the effect…we need more Pepper and Bale. Inspired by the song S & M, what a compelling and emotional short story!

See our TBB Marni Mann Recs


✲SAY IT FIRST by NIKKI SLOANE – Song: Say It First by Sam Smith – I spend my days speeding around the track and my nights thinking about her—my new best friend and movie star Anna Douglas. Who’s going to win the race to admit we want to be more than just friends?

M/F Friends to lovers’ romance.

‘What if a hug made things weird? What if I put my arms around him and didn’t let go?’

A sweet and sexy romance about, Anna the actress who falls for NASCAR driver, Jamie- who she’s not seen since high school over 10 years ago.  It all begins with a Facebook message. What starts as a friendship turns in to so much more but who will admit this fact first? Loved this one!

✲WILD PITCH by REBECCA SHEASong: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran – I’m snowed in with the one person from my past who broke my heart. Someone forbidden…my first love…my brother’s best friend.

M/F Second chance friends to lovers’ romance.

“One of us would have sacrificed their dream for the other.”

Mateo and Mia haven’t seen each other in four years after one amazing kiss. Mia has never forgotten this kiss and still loves her brother’s friend. When they find themselves isolated in a snowed-in cabin the truth comes out, as does that hot passionate connection that never faded.

See our TBB Rebecca Shea Recs
 

✲GUYS MY AGE by SAFFRON A KENTSong: Guys My Age by Hey Violet – He’s older — much older, experienced and freaking gorgeous. Oh, and mine. He just doesn’t know it yet.

M/F Age gap erotic romance with friends to lovers theme.

“You want to know what love is, Fallon? Let me tell you what love is. It’s a burn. An explosion.”

This is a story about 18 year old Fallon and 33 year old Dean, who is very protective of her. Fallon asked Dean to marry her when she was 3 and Dean was 17 and have loved him ever since. Now she just has to convince him he loves her back and she has a cunning plan on how to do just that! A somewhat sweet and erotic short story.

See our TBB Saffron A Kent Recs
 

✲BROKEN HALLELUJA by SIERRA SIMONE Song: Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley – A kinky, wartime love affair once swept Marine Jacey Benjamin off her feet—until the hero she longed for chose power over love. Now her hero is back and ready to have Jacey kneeling before her once again, if only Jacey will say yes…

F/F A BDSM army second chance erotic romance.

‘I want to eat your light, she told me once right before she bit the skin over my heart.’

Jacey and Devon met in the army whilst on tour and for Jacey the attraction was instantaneous. Told in past and present this is one effed up story of love and betrayal. A highly emotional and hot short story.

See our TBB Sierra Simone Recs


✲MOMENT OF TRUTH by VERONICA LARSENSong: Say You Won’t Let Go by James Arthur – Telling her I love her might just ruin our friendship, but watching her marry someone else? Means losing her forever.

M/F Friends to lovers’ second chance romance.

‘Can she hear my heart beating? It’s where she belongs.’

Oh gosh we loved this one and it has made us want to read more from this Author! Albeit a short story it felt complete, full of emotion and beauty with romantic desperation. Dean and Gabby were childhood friends with a mutual protective friendship which turned into a deep-rooted love. As adults will they confront this love or will the missed chances win?


✲TOOTHPASTE KISSES by XIO AXELRODSong:  Toothpaste Kisses by The Maccabees – Starting over is Mal’s idea of hell and the last thing on his mind is freaking office décor. But this painting? It haunts him. So, does the handsome and intriguing artist who may have inadvertently opened a window into Mal’s soul.

M/M Sweet and hot romance.

‘How could he survive this man? Having Malcolm Zaha’s full attention was like standing in front of a roaring fire.’

Malcom is starting over after his partner in their law firm and life upped and left. Malcom needs a distraction and new Art in his office according to his assistant. This new artist, Pell proves to be the perfect cure. Intense, hot and sweet. We loved it!

 

Synopsis

What’s more romantic than a love song? A mixtape full of them.

Twelve bestselling and award-winning authors have curated an anthology of brand-new, standalone stories inspired by love songs.

Elle Kennedy
KL Kreig
Leslie McAdam
Lynda Aicher
Mara White
Marni Mann
Nikki Sloane
Rebecca Shea
Saffron A Kent
Sierra Simone
Veronica Larsen
Xio Axelrod

 

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4 Comments:


  1. Xio Axelrod said:

    Thank you for reviewing us! So glad you enjoyed the collection. 🙂

    Reply

    1. TotallyBookedBlog Post author said:

      Thank you so much! Your book was one of our favourites! We’re going to check out your books to read. We do love our MM <3 xo

      Reply

      1. Xio Axelrod said:

        Aww, yay! 🙂

        Reply

        1. TotallyBookedBlog Post author said:

          <3

          Reply

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